May 23, 2002
8:30 AM   Subscribe

Escaped Sudanese slave, Francis Bok is becoming a celebrity[WSJ sub]. He has testified before Congress. Redemption (buying) slaves is one way to set some free. But is that a scam which will encourage the slave trade? What can we do to free them all?
posted by Geo (5 comments total)
Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton could use an iota of the energy they spend drooling after slavery "reparation" money in the US on this slavery that is going on with people actually alive today, for starters...
posted by dagny at 8:34 AM on May 23, 2002

Sixty Minutes had this story a week or two ago, and they interviewed Father Riva and a guy who used to be the #2 at CSI; according to them this is a scam, basically the only way these folks have to bring in precious dollars, while at the same time slavery does exist in the north, but 'real' slaves do not seem to be 'for sale'. Slavery and other atrocities in failed African States will end when it becomes worth it to these countries to join the International community; during the Cold War they all had some value to one side or the other and despite the bad, some good rubbed off. International disinterest quickly resulted in the descent into tribalism from Sudan to Zimbabwae and that's where things pretty much stand right now. Africa is ignored because it poses a threat only to itself.
posted by Mack Twain at 9:14 AM on May 23, 2002

Sudan is also a training centre for Islamist terrorism, and was led until recently by one of the godfathers of the modern fundamentalist movement, Turabi. From what my Sudanese friends tell me, there is basically a racist war between 'arab' Sudanese govt and the indigenous population. In addition to the frequent bombings and war, the government also forces the traditional tribespeople to adopt the customs and dress of the Islamic culture. What we are witnessing is cultural genocide. Of course, what that means in the mainstream media really depends on which side has the better PR firm.
posted by fellorwaspushed at 9:21 AM on May 23, 2002

What can we do to free them all?

Find the slave traders. Instead of offering them money, try bullets - preferably to center mass or the head. Repeat until they have been hunted into extinction.
posted by will at 9:51 AM on May 23, 2002

What can we do to free them all?

Here's one idea: kick Sweden off of the U.N. Human Rights Commission. Lundin Petroleum has major interests in the Sudan, as do several other oil companies.

Here's another: support the aid agencies which are working in the Sudan right now, in spite of U.N. restrictions.

There are many problems with the SPLA (mostly Dinka) though, as they have been accused, for example, of committing crimes against the minority Equatorians.
Background info on the Sudanese People's Liberation Army. The situation is pretty damned intractable, but the last thing the U.S. needs to be doing is propping up the Northern Sudanese government simply because they are all of a sudden being co-operative about terrorism.
posted by insomnyuk at 10:52 AM on May 23, 2002

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